A Jewish housewife from Brooklyn that transformed herself into a purported “cult leader” has now been proclaimed “Mata Maha Mandaleshwar” a “Hindu senior Abbott.” This is supposedly “the first time that an American has been given this great honor” reports India Monitor.Joyce Green now known to her devotees as just 'Ma'

The recipient of that honor is a 65-year-old woman born Joyce Green, who now calls herself “Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati.”

Ms. Green, whose devotees prefer to just call her “Ma,” runs the “Kashi Ashram,” located in Roseland, Florida near Palm Beach.

“Ma” is a controversial figure that has at times been mired by scandal. This has included a widely reported and bitter divorce that involved a former follower turned outspoken critic. That man, once a designated spokesperson for the group, said he was “brainwashed.”

In another scandal during 1989 a SWAT team with a court order retrieved a minor child from Ma’s 47-acre compound and returned the girl to her mother, yet another disenchanted ex-disciple.

A Web site “Ma Jaya and the Kashi Ashram Revealed” offers a “critical look” of the controversial group and its leader as seen by former members.

Ms. Green began her journey to Ma-hood in 1973, when during a private meditation she claimed to receive a personal vision and divine dispensation. Jesus supposedly told Joyce to “teach all ways, for all ways are mine.”

In the years since Ma’s “ways” have managed to net her quite a few assets and followers.

“They think she’s God. That horrifies me,” observed one former member.

But according to the accolades accompanying her latest title she’s on a “mission of selfless service,” though others apparently feel that Ma’s mission is self-serving.

“I have no doubts Kashi is a cult and that Ma is a cult leader” wrote Richard Rosenkranz, once a designated spokesperson for the group and now its most outspoken critic. “The community fits classic cult definitions,” he stated.

So it seems there are two ways to look at “Ma.”

As Joyce Green from Brooklyn who ended up a “classic cult” leader.

Or, as a “Hindu senior Abbott” honored for her “mission of selfless service.”

How would a SWAT team fit into the historical context of that type of “mission”?


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